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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
16 December 2015

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This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.

Key developments this week

  • Fugro Discovery continues to conduct search operations with deeptow equipment and is scheduled to depart the search area around 6 January 2016.
  • Fugro Equator is in transit to Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit. The vessel is expected to arrive around 21 December.
  • Havila Harmony  is conducting search operations using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The AUV is currently surveying some of the most difficult portions of the search area that cannot be searched effectively using the deep tow sonar.

Underwater search operations

Weather continues to impact on search operations but the onset of summer is expected to bring more favourable conditions over the coming months. Search operations will continue throughout the Christmas / New Year period.

Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China earlier this year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched.  It is anticipated this will be completed around June 2016.

More than 75,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.

[Click map to view larger image]

In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.


The weather is forecast to be variable throughout this week. AUV operations have been affected and search operations in general may be affected during the period.